The new policy will cover all of A&F’s brands, including Abercrombie & Fitch, abercrombie kids and Hollister.

The new policy will cover all of A&F’s brands, including Abercrombie & Fitch, abercrombie kids and Hollister.

US apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) has made a commitment to trace the sources of all wood-based fabrics used in its own clothing lines – and to eliminate by the middle of next year any that are linked to the destruction of endangered forests or the violations of human rights.

The commitment is part of a new policy on the sourcing and use of popular but controversial wood-based fabrics, including rayon, viscose and modal, in its clothes

The company says that by mid-2018 it will have put in place "comprehensive procedures" to establish the origin of its suppliers' fibres, which are designed to ensure it does not work with those sourcing from ancient or endangered forests, or linked to violation of the rights of indigenous peoples who depend on such forests.

This new policy will cover all of A&F's brands, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Abercrombie Kids and Hollister.

The company's pledgehas been developed in cooperation with Rainforest Action Network (RAN), whose 'Out of Fashion' campaign aims to bring attention to the risks controversial wood-based fabrics pose to endangered forests and human rights in Indonesia and elsewhere.

"At A&F, we have a history of demonstrating our commitment to environmental responsibility through our actions, and this new policy is a further step on our ongoing sustainability journey," says Kim Harr, A&F's senior director of sustainability. "We know there is a need for better supply chain traceability and, with RAN's support, we can now make an even greater positive impact."

A&F joins brands and retailers including Ralph Lauren, L Brands, H&M, Zara, Stella McCartney, Asos, and Levis Strauss & Co in adopting forest-friendly purchasing policies.

"Communities in North Sumatra have been campaigning on this issue for over 30 years, demanding that global brands acknowledge and remedy their local impacts to people and forests," says Brihannala Morgan, senior forest campaigner with Rainforest Action Network (RAN). "It's encouraging to see brands beginning to take responsibility for their supply chains.

"Abercrombie & Fitch's commitments and actions, joining more than 100 other brands who have developed policies, can truly have a positive impact on forests and the people that depend on them."

RAN is now calling on other brands, including Michael Kors, Guess, Forever 21, Under Armour and Footlocker to also develop "robust" purchasing policies, research their supply chains, identify and eliminate controversial sources, and implement time-bound plans to ensure loss of forests and violations of human rights are not in their supply chains.